Volleyball closes Hatter Classic with strong win

Alexa Girasole, Staff Writer

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The Bison women’s volleyball team struggled during the first day of the Hatter Classic in Deland, Fla. on Sept. 2, but were able to regroup and pull out a win on their second day of tournament play against Stetson University, improving their record to 4-2.

The Bison’s defense was strong during their first match against Providence, but they dropped the match 3-1. Mimi Richards ’20 led the team with ten block assists and ten kills, recording her first double-double of the season. Celeste Barker ’18 had five block assists and Sophie Bullard ’20 recorded her fourth consecutive double-double with 14 kills and 18 digs for the Orange and Blue. Delanie Lewis ’21 added to the Bison’s strong defense with 10 kills and nine digs in the losing effort.

“Providence was a tough team, but we made a few too many errors, which hurt us,” Bullard said.

The second game against East Carolina University presented another challenge for the Bison, who lost 3-0. Despite the loss, Bullard once again gave a strong performance, contributing 15 digs and seven kills. Luz Nagle ’18 led the team with 22 assists and Richards added five block assists to her total.

“The first day was tough, and we learned that we play better when we focus on our side of the net and on what we can control,” Nagle said.

The team took the first two games as a learning experience and looked to notch a victory on Sept. 3 against Stetson University.

“This weekend, specifically the first two games, we faced some tough situations that we struggled to overcome. However, from these tough moments we uncovered the areas of our game we need to work on, which we were able to implement on our final day, and will continue to work on in the future,” Barker said.

The Orange and Blue finished the Hatter Classic with a 3-1 win over Stetson. The Bison gave an extremely promising effort in the game, including a career-high 33 digs for Brooke Stark ’20. Nagle also contributed 35 assists to the defensive effort. Bullard had another double-double with 15 kills and 15 digs.

The first-year players stepped up for the Bison during these matches. Lewis totaled nine kills and nine digs against Stetson, while Anna Carroll ’21 had eight kills and seven digs. For the sophomore class, Richards was named to the All-Tournament Team for the second straight weekend with 17 kills and seven blocks against the Hatters on Sept. 3, for a total of 22 total blocks and 34 kills over three matches.

The team is confident with their performance and will look to carry that momentum into their next tournament, while tweaking some aspects of their game to prepare for league play.

“The second day, we were able to pull out a win. The teams we faced were very strong and they were a good test of the work we still need to do in order to prepare for the Patriot League. I think this weekend was a success in terms of us finding what works and what we need to fix,” Nagle said.

Up next for the Bison is the Canisius Invitational, where they will face Canisius, Eastern Washington, and Charlotte, on Sept. 8-9.

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